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4 Things You Should Know about Surprised by Oxford

Caro Drake is a young, determined woman with a passion for knowledge. That’s one reason she enrolled at the University of Oxford for her postgraduate studies. She wants to sit under the world’s greatest professors. She wants to sit beside the world’s top students.For Caro, the pursuit of knowledge is the purpose of life.But then she encounters classmates and professors who don’t see the world the way she sees it. They love knowledge -- yes -- but they have a greater love for God. They believe in the supernatural. They believe in the Bible.“How does someone who believes in talking snakes get into Oxford?” an incredulous Caro asks a friend.Caro’s Oxford stint grows even more complex when she falls in love with a young Christian man who gives her space to think and to pose questions about life she has never considered. Suddenly, everything she has believed about life is in doubt.What will Caro do?The new movie Surprised by Oxford tells the story of Caro, who embarks on a journey to discover truth at one of the world’s most prestigious institutions.Here are four things you should know about it:Photo credit: ©Fathom; used with permission.

Creative Mother-Daughter Date Ideas for Fall

Hey there, are you a girl momma too? Well, welcome to the club! As a mom of three daughters, I am always on the hunt for fun ideas and special ways to spend time with each of my girls. Now that I have two teens, let’s just say that this momma has to get a little (or a lot) creative. And let me tell you - I am so thankful it is fall! Bring on the harvest festivals and many mother/daughter date ideas. Yahoo!Yep, I really do love fall! There is just something truly special about this time of year. It’s as if the whisper of the wind and the glow from this sweet season waft in with an open invitation to spend time with those we dearly love! As cute scarecrows and plump pumpkins make their debut once again, they carry a warm welcome that declares, “Come on in, get cozy, and soak it all in – the sights, the smells, and all the fall flavors.”So, maybe, like me, you are ready to relish this season and create some lasting memories with your precious daughter, but you need some ideas. Well, my sweet “girl momma” friend, you have come to the right place. Below, you will find merely a few ideas to get you started. Whether you have a sweet little miss or an adoring adult, there is something to meet every momma and daughter. But let me assure you, nothing is too crazy or costly, as this is more of a means to bond with your sweet girl, keeping it simple yet fun! At the same time, realize that taking some time (even briefly) for a festive fall mother/daughter date will cultivate your relationship and be so worth it!And now, without further ado, here we go, my friends; let’s step into fall together with our dear daughters and enjoy the moments and the glorious gifts this season has to offer!Photo credit: ©GettyImages/AzmanL

5 Things I Wish My Son Knew

In 2004, my whole world changed forever. I gave birth to my first son. If I'm honest, I was terrified about being a parent. I came from a controlling household, and I was afraid that I would do the same to my kids. But my doubts and fears soon subsided, and in 2006, I gave birth to my daughter. As the years went by, I spent my time trying to do what was right for my children. Now that my son is off to college this year, and my daughter is a senior in high school, I can pivot my parenting style from one of a parent to one of a trusted friend. I no longer am the person to check their homework or remind them to do their chores. Rather, I can be free to share my struggles more openly. I'll simply be there not to dispense advice but rather be a sounding board so that my kids have someone to whom they can talk.As my son embarks on the journey of becoming an adult, there are some things I wish he knew:Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/ThitareeSarmkasat

5 Ways to Be Still and Hear God's Voice

Have you ever wondered how to discern the voice of God? Maybe questioning if it was your own thoughts or God that was speaking to you? I know I have. I often wish God would talk to us like He did in the Old Testament with a commanding voice, burning bush, vivid dream, or just break through the clouds. It appears that distinguishing the voice of God from our own thoughts, or worse yet, the infiltration of the enemy, has always seemed to be a bit of a mystery. But, if I can assure you of anything today, it is this - God is a loving Father who wants to speak to all of us. Many times, it is just in a little less climactic way.Come to think of it, if God spoke to us through a burning bush, loud voice, or a talking animal, as He did with Balaam’s donkey in the Bible, could you imagine how we would react? There is no doubt that God’s line of communication is indeed limitless. But the point is that God knows how to reach our hearts and reveals Himself (even in biblical times) in such a unique way. Isn’t it heart-warming to know that God cares for us and loves us so deeply that He provides personal ways for us to commune with Him, offering more than a one-way conversation?Even still, hearing from God takes practice in patience and learning the art of being still. We must also be mindful of the “voice” we are entertaining. There are generally three options: your own voice, the enemy’s, or God’s. While our inner voice usually tunes into our wants and desires, claiming to offer sound advice may not align with God and His Word due to our sinful nature. The enemy’s voice is loud, condescending, and condemning, usually pointing fingers, bringing on blame and bitterness. Then there is God’s voice. His voice is convicting and will call out your sin, but will always lead you back to the truth, offering you freedom wrapped in forgiveness. His words are spoken with love and compassion, coated in wisdom, offering hope and healing.So, with that, how do we hear God’s voice above all else? Oh, friend, read on, and let’s discover ways to be still, quiet our minds, and open our hearts to receiving the most beautiful conversation that will grant us peace, offer us clarity, and define our purpose in this life.
Photo credit: © Unsplash/Finn Hackshaw

5 Prayers for Trusting God This School Year

The Fall can feel like a whirlwind of activity! I feel like I can't keep up with the assignments, classes, sports, haircuts, dinner prep, parties, games, meets, appointments, and more. I have to confess I have mixed up more than one scheduled item because things just keep falling through the cracks of my brain.As parents, we can easily see the laundry list of what we need to do to nourish our kids' bodies, hearts, minds, and souls and get completely overwhelmed. I have good news, though: we aren't called to get it all perfect for our kids; we are just called to trust the Lord with our kids. Trust He is with them, preparing them for the many purposes he has for their lives, and he is able to cover our mistakes and forgotten birthday party gifts with his grace.Jesus invites those of us who are weary and burdened to draw closer to him (Matthew 11:28-30). When you start to wonder if you are enough for your kids, if you are making the right choices for them, and try to devise all the ways to protect them, it's time to bring that worry list to the feet of Jesus. He wants to draw you near and help you find him in this season of parenthood.Here are some verses and prayers that invite us to trust God with our families this school year:
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Tiero

6 Comfort Soup Recipes to Try This Fall

'Tis the season for all things warm, cozy, and comforting. Yippee! Just writing that excites me as I have already decked the halls – with pumpkins, trimmed the mantel and staircase with fall garland, and am currently sipping on my pumpkin spice latte. Yum-O!I know, I know, sounds heavenly, doesn't it? Well, guess what! As you welcome in all the "fall feels," I have got some yummy recipes that you are just going to have to try! Trust me, these will not only taste utterly delicious, but the smells alone will wake up your home (and everyone it in) with a sweet reminder that this time of year literally smells as good as it looks!Below are six simply delicious fall "comfort soup" recipes that will be sure to bring some smiles to your little darling's faces and, who knows…maybe even posture their hearts to feeling thankful for His daily bread. Oh, and speaking of bread, I am attaching a scrumptious and easy-to-bake bread recipe, too!Because what soup doesn't go well with fresh baked bread, am I right? Yay, bonus recipe!So, with that, let's get started!
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/PippiLongstocking

12 Powerful Prayers from Paul

Sometimes praying feels like throwing darts - with your eyes closed. You hurl some words heavenward and wonder if you've hit the bulls-eye of progress. You hope something sticks.What would happen if we prayed like Paul? God got me asking this question. So, I searched every prayer Paul prayed (below) to find the essence of God's power held within his words. What I found were 12 categories of prayer. I hope they bless you as much as they did me!Read these prayers from the words of Apostle Paul inspired by God to bring peace, hope, and courage.

10 Scriptures for Overwhelming Days

We’ve all had those days when our to-do lists are too long, the expectations of others have piled on, and we feel like we’re drowning. Or, maybe the amount of emergencies we have had to deal with has left us exhausted. We are overwhelmed. In those moments, life feels like too much. We feel as though the stress we’re facing is greater than our capacity for strength.Feeling overwhelmed can be caused by relationship pressures, a demanding boss, work overload, financial stress, or trauma. The reasons are varied, but the feeling is often the same: “I can’t handle this!”While feeling overwhelmed can be a natural response to stress, staying in that feeling is not healthy. In other words, we need a plan. All of us, at some point, are going to feel like we’re drowning; however, if we have a plan, we don’t have to sink in that river of overwhelm.One of the best plans I know is to have verses to meditate on for the days when life feels like too much. I write scriptures out on index cards and read them out loud over myself whenever I feel overwhelmed. The result is that as I am meditating on the Word of God, His peace replaces my anxiety.Here are ten scriptures for overwhelming days:Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/pixelheadphoto

11 Questions about Heaven Answered by Dr. David Jeremiah

Heaven is not just our far-off future home, but a place we can joyfully look forward to today. The Bible provides more than 600 references to heaven, and we can gain incredible joy and fresh vision for our lives on earth as we read and understand these passages. In the following excerpts from my messages, I point you to a handful of these Scriptures and answer 11 questions about heaven.(For expanded video answers from Dr. Jeremiah, just click the link on an individual question).Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock/AndreyPopov

5 Things Christians Believe about Hell That Are Not Biblical

Hell is a topic that has fascinated and troubled people since ancient times. It is a place often associated with divine punishment, eternal suffering, and fiery torment. However, what many Christians believe about hell may not align with what the Bible actually teaches. Hell is a complex and challenging subject for many people. A majority of U.S. adults say they believe in hell – 62 percent overall, and 79 percent of those who are Christians – according to a recentPew Research Center survey. But many myths about hell are popular in our culture. It’s important for believers to discern between popular misconceptions and what the Bible says about hell. So, let’s consider five common beliefs about hell that are not biblically supported.Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Ig0rZh

5 Ways to Survive the End of the World

Did you feel it? Scientists recently reported that Earth reached its highest average temperature in recorded history. Is this the beginning of the end? Some people believe climate change will be the end of us, or the world could end with a global pandemic like covid–19, a worldwide natural disaster such as solar flares from the sun, or nuclear or civil war. When an era like the 2020s brings chaos and calamity, people begin to talk more about eschatology—the theological study of the "end of the world" or "end times."What we believe about the end times determines how we live in the middle. As Christians, the Bible is our final word about the ultimate destiny of humanity—and it has a lot to say. Jesus, Paul, John, and Peter all spoke about the end of the world as if it could happen at any moment. Peter wrote:The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore . . . (1 Peter 4:7 NLT)“Therefore” is the pivot Peter uses to swing from scary predictions to practical steps as he reveals these five surprising strategies for surviving the end of the world as you know it.Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/franckreporter

10 Ways to Recapture Your Husband’s Heart

I’ll never forget the day I was cleaning through my top dresser drawer and found a treasure.I almost threw out the stack of aged, yellowed papers, weathered by time and slightly torn on the edges. When I unfolded the papers and read through them, I instantly realized why I’d kept them all those years. They were love letters from my husband written nearly 30 years ago, and they contained phrases such as “I love you beyond expression” and “You complete me like no other.”As I read those words, my eyes teared up. And then my heart dropped. I haven’t had a letter like this from him in years.How I would have liked to believe that I hadn’t changed a bit through the years and that he was the one who grew distant and less interested over time. I felt convicted, though, to put that magnifying glass up to myself and ask if I was still the same woman to whom he wrote those letters. Suddenly I wished I could turn back the clock and have that man I married see me the way he once did – as the captivating woman he fell in love with. And then I realized if that was to happen I had to become the woman I once was – as a young bride – and treat him like I once did.I went to a portion of Scripture that describes young, exciting love and from the “Shulamite bride” in Song of Songs, discovered ten ways that I could act like a new bride again and recapture my husband’s heart. And you know what happened? As I started talking to him and treating him the way I once did, it wasn’t long before he became the man I once married.See if these ten ways to recapture his heart don’t transform your marriage, too.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Ivanko_Brnjakovic

Stop Misusing Jeremiah 29:11 and Understand the Real Meaning of 'For I Know the Plans I Have for You'

God’s Word is full of wisdom and encouragement that guide Christians through life. Memorizing Scripturecan serve as a powerful weapon against temptation, despair, and worldliness. However, learning verses in isolation, without context, can lead to misunderstanding and misapplying the virtues and lessons that God wants His people to possess and learn.One important verse that Christians often quote is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”This is a message of hope and a promise of a good future that is easy to cling to and repeat. But knowing the full context of the verse is quite interesting, and reveals the enormous scope of God’s will for mankind. Let's dig into what it really means when God tells us he has plans for us.Photo credit:Unsplash/Nghia-Le

Are The 7 Deadly Sins Really That Fatal?

Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at [email protected] Roger,I’ve heard about the seven deadly sins, but I’m wondering which sins they are. What are the 7 deadly sins, and why are they more deadly than any other sin?Sincerely, Jack------------------Dear Jack,Many people wonder what the seven deadly sins are and if they are worse than other sins. The idea of the seven deadly sins isn’t new. The seven deadly sins have been around since early Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church came up with the list and declared that every possible sin was spawned from these seven. Personally, I would narrow it down and say that pride is the root of all sins. These seven are often tied to Proverbs 6:16-19 where we find a list of the six things that God hates. The early Roman Catholic Church taught that these sins could not be forgiven. However, according to the Bible these seven deadly sins are completely forgivable by God. The only sin which cannot be forgiven is the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This occurs when the Holy Spirit tells an individual that he/she needs to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. When that person says, “No, I don’t need him to forgive my sins,” he/she has called the Holy Spirit a liar which is the meaning of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This is the unforgivable sin. God can forgive every sin except saying “no” to Jesus and his forgiveness of sin.Here are the sins known as the 7 Deadly Sins...

10 Scriptures about Death to Comfort the Grieving

I didn’t fully understand the depths of grief until the year my family lost two sisters and a brother within eight months. My brother-in-law lost a five-year battle with cancer, my sister died an agonizing death from a toxic clash of prescribed medications, and my sister-in-law died suddenly from a triple brain aneurysm. Before 2010 I had a head knowledge of death, but afterward, I’d been baptized by fire. As one family member eloquently described, “I felt like my body had been cut open and all my happiness pulled out.” God comforted us through those horrible days in many different ways. Friends made hospital visits and attended funerals. Distant relatives emailed sweet expressions of sympathy. Fellow church members sent cards and casseroles. Our greatest source of comfort, however, was the Bible verses we read in the days surrounding our loved ones’ deaths. Here are 10 verses we found especially meaningful. Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/CandyBoxImages

7 Fresh Ways to Spruce up Your Bible Study

I’ve been happily married for over thirty years, and I love my husband dearly, but he is not my first love; Jesus is. This realization led me to wonder if I lavished on Jesus the same expressions of excitement and endearment as I did when I fell in love with Jesus as a child. Do you remember when you first accepted Jesus as your Savior? How you couldn’t wait to spend time with him and wanted everyone to know how Jesus changed your life? But over the years, our relationship with Jesus and studying his Word can become routine or stale. Maybe it even turns into a mundane duty or seems repetitive instead of full of the enthusiasm, exuberance, and eagerness we first felt when learning more about Jesus by reading and studying our Bibles.I’ve prayed about ways to approach my Bible study time with Jesus each day with the same attitude I should lavish on my earthly love, my husband. Just as many couples have date nights, I began to think of my Bible study and prayer time as a date with Jesus. One I could actually experience as often as I wanted. You might also like to incorporate some of these fresh ways to spruce up your Bible study that I’ve found so enjoyable when lingering with my First Love, Jesus Christ.Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/PeopleImages

35 Fall Activities to Do with Your Grandkids

Fall is a great time of year to do things with your grandkids. The weather is cooler and more comfortable, and there are all kinds of special things to do this time of year. Watching the wonder on their faces is also fun as they hunt for the perfect pumpkin or eye that delicious caramel apple treat. If you have a date planned soon, here are some activities you can do outdoors, things to go see indoors, and activities to do when the rainy fall chill rolls in and your plans have to change.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Choreograph

10 Common Mistakes People Make When Reading Revelation

The book of Revelation is either the most exciting or the most frustrating book of the Bible to read. It can be exciting when you’re looking at prophecy fulfilled or frustrating when you’re confused about what is literal, what is symbolic, what is future and what is past. It can also be the most divisive book of the Bible because of differing views on interpretation. Yet John, the writer of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, said “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3, ESV). How can you be blessed or happy when reading Revelation? When you avoid the common mistakes most people make when reading it – mistakes that can lead to confusion, fear, inaccurate predictions, disillusionment, paranoia, or end-of-the-world hype. Here are 10 common mistakes people make when reading Revelation. Photo credit: ©©Unsplash/Ben White

11 Romance Books to Read This Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year. The air gets cool, the leaves change, and it's time to break out the sweatshirt jackets and cozy socks. It's also time for cozy meals and baked goods like pumpkin bars, apple cider donut muffins, and cinnamon streusel bread.One of my other favorite things to do this time of year is curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee, cocoa, or apple cider. My favorite genre to read is clean and wholesome romance, so here are some great romances to warm your nights. You will find family sagas, stories of friendship, and, yes, even a Christmas story or two. It's never too early to read holiday stories. I start in November and read Christmas stories throughout the Christmas season.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/JDawnInk
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